Friday, May 20, 2011

What Will Be Your Legacy?

Doc Hamilton was a very special guy! Besides being a lifelong best friend of my father-in-law Jesse McDonald (who also was a very special guy!), Doc practiced medicine in Monroe, Louisiana for 56 years. Fifty of those years he served as a part-time volunteer physician for the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home, a privately run orphanage. Doc tended to all of the kid's needs - he loved them, and they loved Doc!

Affectionately referred to as the "fingernail" Doctor, Doc Hamilton would ask each child at the beginning of a physical exam if he could see their fingernails. Now Doc knew that you couldn't glean any medical information from looking at those kid's fingernails, but he had a very special reason for wanting to see them. You see, he realized that by seeing their fingernails it allowed him to hold their hand, and by holding their hand it would re-assure them that everything was going to be alright, and that they had worth as a human being! Now that is a special guy!

Doc quietly passed away Monday at the ripe old age of 86. I was fortunate enough to attend the celebration of his life in Monroe on Wednesday. So many wonderful things were said about Doc! Not only was he a gifted physician, but an incredible family man who loved his wife more than life itself! It was obvious that he had touched so many lives with his kindness and good humor. What will they say about you at your funeral? What kind of legacy will you leave when you go to your greater reward?

Consider starting with the answer and then working backwards to find those values which will lead you to your legacy. Who knows, maybe it starts with something just as simple as fingernails!

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